Recently, we took a closer look ASRock X570S Torrent, SKU for budget-oriented AMD’s updated (and fanless) X570S chipset. Today, we take a look at its low-end brother B550 Phantom Gaming Riptide. The new B550 PG Riptide SKU landed on store shelves (or web pages) at a price of $159.99, just like its big brother, placing it firmly on the affordable side of the B550 motherboard. The new motherboard includes a large number of USB ports on the rear IO, dual M.2 slots, and power supply capabilities that can support flagship CPUs (at least at stock speeds).
In-depth study of the function, the board has a 10-phase digital power supply and Dr. MOS MOSFET. There are two M.2 slots (one with a heat sink) and six SATA ports-what many people call the standard for cheap motherboards. Memory support is listed on DDR4 5000, but of course, your memory mileage may vary. On the network side, PG Riptide includes a Killer Networks 2.5 GbE, but does not integrate Wi-Fi (there is an available M.2 socket to add it). If you need multiple rear USB ports, there are 10 to choose from, including 10 Gbps Type-C ports, but no 20 Gbps ports/connectors.
In terms of audio, the B550 Phantom Gaming Riptide uses a budget codec, but most people should still find it sufficient. Overall, we think this is a fully functional motherboard because it has all the basic functions, but its price does not allow you to see some higher-end features on more expensive products.
In our test, the overall performance of the B550 Riptide is good. On some benches, the circuit board performed well, close to average, while on other benches (especially heavy multi-threaded testing), it lacked. In short, using our high-end Ryzen 5950X, during these tests, the motherboard runs the CPU at a slower speed.
If you plan to use a high-performance CPU like 5950X to grind all cores and threads, you will sacrifice some performance. Along these lines, when we overclock, the motherboard will use our 4.4 GHz ~1.3V setting to hard reboot. To run this clock speed, we must force the voltage to 1.2V to complete the test.In other words, if you are considering running a more powerful Best CPU, The overclocking potential is limited-until, perhaps, a BIOS update that allows more current. Read on for more details about the features and learn how the board performed in all our tests.
Specifications-ASRock B550 PG Riptide
|Stabilizer||10-phase (8+2, 50A MOSFET for Vcore)|
|Video port||(1) HDMI (v2.1)|
|USB port||(1) USB 3.2 Gen 2, Type-C (10 Gbps)|
|(1) USB 3.2 Gen 2, Type A (10 Gbps)|
|(6) USB 3.2 Gen 1, Type A (5 Gbps)|
|(2) USB 2.0|
|Network jack||(1) 2.5 GbE|
|Audio jack||(5) Analog + SPDIF|
|PCIe x16||(1) v4.0 (x16)|
|(1) v3.0 (x4)|
|(1) v3.0 (x1)|
|PCIe x1||(1) v3.0 (x1)|
|Crossfire/SLI||AMD Quad CrossfireX and CrossFireX (2 channels)|
|DIMM slot||(4) DDR4 4933+(OC), 128GB capacity|
|M.2 slot||(1) PCIe 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps) / PCIe Only (up to 80mm)|
|(1) PCIe 3.0 x4 (32 Gbps) / SATA + PCIe (maximum 110 mm)|
|SATA port||(6) SATA3 6 Gbps (RAID 0, 1, and 10)|
|USB connector||(1) USB v3.2 Gen 2, Type-C (10 Gbps)|
|(2) USB v3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)|
|(3) USB v2.0 (480 Mbps)|
|Fan/pump connector||(7) 4-pin|
|RGB header||(2) aRGB (3-pin)|
|(2) RGB (4-pin)|
|Other interfaces||FP-Audio, TB AIC (5-pin)|
|Diagnostic panel||Release status checker (4 LEDs)|
|Ethernet controller||Killer E3100G (2.5 Gbps)|
|HD Audio Codec||Realtek ALC897|
|DDL/DTS connection||✗ / ✗|
ASRock B550 Riptide includes a set of accessories, so you can get your PC up and running without going to the store. The included accessories are basic accessories. Several SATA cables and M.2 screws are provided, but not much else. In other words, the company does include a graphics card bracket installed on the motherboard. As the size and weight of today’s GPUs seem to increase with each generation, this is a huge added value for those who use high-end. Below is a list of all included attachments.
- (2) SATA cable
- Graphics card bracket
- (3) M.2 screw
- M.2 socket bracket
- Fast Installation guide
- Support/Driver CD
- Input/output shield
When we first took out the B550 Riptide from the box, the first thing we saw was a matte black PCB with some black semi-gloss design elements in most of the free space. A single VRM heat sink covers the left row and the IO area. However, there is no heat sink on the top VRM used for the SOC. The M.2 module has a heat sink, the chipset has a small heat sink, and the Phantom Gaming brand can be seen on the top. This is the only area on the board with RGB lighting. If you need more, you must use the integrated connector on the board. The top PCIe slot is reinforced and is the only slot/slot that uses ASRock Armor (metal reinforcement to avoid slot cuts or cracks).
Overall, the B550 PG Riptide looks to be part of a cheap motherboard. On these budget motherboards, you won’t find all the fancy and usually more beautiful shields and radiators. In other words, the theme-agnostic style allows it to seamlessly adapt to most constructions—it will not be the focus.
Focusing on the upper part of the motherboard, let’s take a closer look at the VRM cooler with the ASRock name and Phantom Gaming brand. Above the heat sink are two EPS connectors for powering the CPU. The 8-pin connector is required, while the 4-pin is optional. Just above the socket is the VRM bit of the SOC, and on the right is the PWM controller IC.
On the right side of the slot are four unreinforced single-sided locking DRAM slots that support up to 128GB of RAM. The listed speed is up to DDR4 4933(OC), which is approximately the average speed of the platform. As always, achieving these speeds depends on the CPU (high-quality IMC) and memory package. If you don’t have the right combination, you may not be able to get there.
Located above the DRAM socket are the first three (seven) four-pin fan/pump connectors. CPU/water pump and chassis/water pump connectors support up to 2A/24W, while CPU_FAN2/WP, CHA_FAN1/FAN2/FAN3/FAN4/FAN5 support up to 1A/12W and automatically detect whether a 3-pin or 4-pin fan is in use. The remaining fan headers are scattered around the motherboard (above the M.2 socket on the top, below the SATA port, and on the bottom).
Along the bottom edge of the B550 PG Riptide, we found the second set of connectors. In the upper right corner is the first set of RGB connectors, 3-pin ARGB and 4-pin RGB. The ARGB connector supports up to 12V/3A, 36W LED strips, and the RGB connector supports up to 5V/3A, 15W.
Moving to the right edge, we encounter the 24-pin ATX connector that powers the board, the front panel USB 3.2 Gen1 connector, and the front panel USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C connector. Between the ten ports and the miscellaneous connectors scattered on the circuit board, there are many USB ports by count. However, a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C port is missing among many options. If you are looking for super fast USB, you will have to look elsewhere (and spend more money) or buy an add-on card.
ASRock focuses on power supply, using a 10-phase (8+2) setting (same as the high-end X570S Riptide). The power is sent through the UPI uP9505 (X+Y=6) controller and then to the two uP1911R PWM expanders. These expanders operate in 4x mode and quadruple the signal sent to the MOSFET. The Vishay Sic654 50A MOSFET and the 60A choke form the rest of the VRM. This configuration provides a total of 500A for the CPU. Although it is certainly not the most powerful we have seen, it can indeed handle our Ryzen 5950X CPU without inventory issues. Since OCP trips under our 1.3V setting, overclocking on this board requires some adjustments (reducing Vcore). In order to complete the stress test at 4.4 GHz, we run the CPU at around 1.2V. If you are looking for a high overclocking with a large amount of voltage, then this motherboard/BIOS in its current state will not cut it.
The lower part of the motherboard is composed of audio part, PCIe expansion slot, M.2 storage and so on. Starting from the audio on the left, we saw the cheap Realtek ALC897 codec and four audio caps, completely exposed. There are four audio capacitors and a wire that separates the audio bits from the rest of the circuit board. As a cheap motherboard, we understand that we choose to use a more simplified codec. Most users will still find this option acceptable.
Moving to the middle of the board, there are 3 full-length PCIe slots and an x1 slot between the first two. The main PCIe slot uses ASRock armor to prevent clipping and reduce EMI around the slot. This socket is connected to the CPU and runs on PCIe 4.0 x16 (using appropriate Vermeer and Matisse-based processors). The second slot is PCIe 3.0 x4, while the full-length slot at the bottom runs PCIe 3.0 x1. The x1 slot is connected to a chipset running at PCIe 3.0 x1 speed. When PCIe 2 or PCIe 4 is filled, PCIe 3 is downgraded to x2 mode. The M.2 slot also supports RAID0 and RAID1 modes. Last but not least, between the main (top) PCIe slot and the x1 slot is a Key-E M.2 slot for the Wi-Fi adapter. Just install the Wi-Fi card and route the cable to the rear IO. But this is very amateur. I want to see this socket in the rear IO so that you don’t have to pass the antenna wire through your equipment.
The next one in this area is the M.2 socket. In the case of B550 Riptide, there are two. The top socket (M2_1) has a heat sink and can handle modules up to 80 mm. In addition, it is connected through the CPU and only supports PCIe modules, up to PCIe 4.0 x4 speed, and is equipped with an appropriate processor. The bottom slot (M2_2) supports PCIe and SATA-based devices up to 110 mm in length, with speeds up to PCIe 3.0 x4 (32 Gbps). I want to see a heat sink in the second slot, but PCIe 3.0-based drives, especially SATA, tend to run cooler, so it doesn’t matter. With M2_2 (bottom slot) occupied, SATA 5/6 is disabled.
Along the right edge of the circuit board is a USB 3.2 Gen1 connector (in case the ten at the back are not enough), and six SATA ports. The SATA port supports RAID0, 1, and 10 modes. Any channel sharing with the M.2 module is through the PCIe channel, so you will be able to use the full SATA port and M.2 slot at the same time. The last one in this area is a single chassis fan header. Please note that the screws in this area (middle board and lower right corner) are where the attached GPU bracket connects to the motherboard. Considering the size and weight of many graphics cards today, this is an excellent added value for motherboards.
There are several connectors at the bottom, including USB ports and RGB connectors. This is the complete list, from left to right:
- Front panel audio
- 3-pin aRGB and 4-pin RGB connectors
- (2) Fan connector
- (3) USB 2.0 connectors
- Clear CMOS jumper
- Thunder AIC connector
- POST status checker
- Speaker connector
- Front panel
Shift the focus to the rear IO and you will notice that you have to install the board yourself. Recently, mid-range boards and better ones tend to pre-install IO boards. In addition to this, you may notice 10 USB ports next. There are two USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A and Type-C ports, six USB 3.2 Gen1 ports, and two USB 2.0 ports. There is a lack of a USB 3.2 Gen2x2 Type-C port, but this is a budget board. In order to maintain a lower price point, some sacrifices are inevitable.
From left to right, there is a Wi-Fi antenna bracket (Wi-Fi not included). Next is the video output (used when using AMD APU), through a single HDMI v2.1 port. Above, 3.2 Gen1 ports are traditional PS/2 ports and Killer-based E3100G 2.5 GbE. Last but not least, Riptide’s audio stack consists of five analog plugs and SPDIF ports.
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